Why are my taxes so high?
If you are concerned about the amount of your tax bill but feel the value of your property is accurate, please contact your city council, school board members, county commissioners, or any other taxing authority that create budgets and set mill levies (tax rates). The mill levy directly affects the amount of your property tax.
What is the main function of the County Appraiser?
The County Appraiser is responsible for discovering, listing and valuing all taxable property. Appraisers are responsible to individual property owners to ensure that the value is proper so the owner pays no more than his/her fair share of property taxes. The County Appraiser is also responsible to all people in ensuring that no property escapes the assessment process and that no property owner receives unauthorized preferential treatment.
What is meant by "fair market value?"
The state’s definition:
“Fair market value is the amount in terms of money that a well-informed buyer is justified in paying and a well-informed seller is justified in accepting for property in an open and competitive market, assuming that the parties are acting without undue compulsion.”
To determine fair market value, appraisers consider many factors including the location of a property, topography, size, shape, quality, cost of replacement, age and condition of the buildings, income (if any), and comparison with other similar property.
What is a comparable (COMP) sheet?
Comparables are recently "sold properties" that are most similar in important aspects and property characteristics compared to the subject property. The sale price, physical, functional, and location characteristics of each of the comparable properties are compared to the property being appraised to arrive at an estimate of value. In some cases, the term "comparable" refers to properties with rent or income patterns that compare with the property being appraised. For more information such as definitions and explanations of codes please see the Explanation of a Comparable Sheet Document by clicking this link.
What is meant by "qualifying item" for commercial personal property?
On new items, per the Kansas Department of Revenue, Division of Property Valuation, an item is a line item as listed on the personal property rendition. However, if a single line item represents a group of like goods that can be used independently and have the same or similar cost, such as "chairs, 6 @ $100," the item is not a single qualifying piece, but six qualifying items. The Retail Cost when “new” determines whether an item purchased “used” will qualify for the $1500 exemption. Items of material and supplies that do not individually cost over $1,500 are exempt.
What is meant by "cost?"
The cost of an asset is the retail cost to the owner when new excluding any freight charges, installation charges and sales tax on the asset.
Why should I bring evidence to the appeal hearing?
At the appeal hearing it is the duty of the County Appraiser or the County Appraiser's designee to provide evidence to substantiate the valuation of such property. However, you should be prepared to present evidence to substantiate your opinion of value. It is not sufficient to simply contend "the value is too high." More on appeals
What is the purpose of a property value appeal?
The purpose of an appeal is to establish the fair market value of property where there is significant difference in opinion of value. During the appeal, an appraiser will review information submitted by you to determine if your property has been appraised in a manner that is consistent with other property owners and that you are being treated justly and fairly.
What is the difference between an informal appeal and a payment under protest?
An informal (equalization) appeal is filed in the first part of the year after you receive a valuation notice from the County Appraiser. The equalization appeal is designed to address not only valuation and classification questions but also whether or not your property is valued equally with all other similar properties in the county.
A Payment Under Protest form is filed after you receive a tax statement from the County Treasurer. It is filed at the time taxes are paid. It is another procedure for appealing the value of your property.
NOTE: Property owners may appeal the value on their property only once during any tax year.
What is a declaration of representative (DOR) and do I need to file one?
A declaration of representative is a form that must be completed when a person other than a property owner is appealing the valuation of a property. A person other than the owner can be a family member, tax representative, accountant, real estate agent, and more. Declarations of representative are to be filled out completely and filed along with the appeal application (payment under protest, or informal/equalization application) when it is filed with the County Treasure’s Office (PUP application), or Appraiser’s Office (Informal application).
The purpose of the declaration of representative is to ensure all parties involved in the appeal process authority on behalf of the property owner has been given to file an appeal for that property.
The declaration of representative can be accessed in the forms section of our website, and at http://www.ksrevenue.org/forms-pvd.html under forms.
What is the Classification Amendment? Or ... How is property classified in Kansas?
Property is classified for assessment in Kansas. This means that all property (except agricultural land) is appraised at "fair market value." It is assessed at a percentage of fair market value. The assessed value multiplied by the mill levy equals the tax bill. The Kansas constitution classifies property for assessment. The table below shows the current classification of property.
- Real property used for residential purposes including multi-family residential property - 11.5%
- Mobile homes used for residential purposes - 11.5%
- Land devoted to agricultural use (use value) - 30%
- Vacant lots - 12%
- Commercial property - 25%
- All other urban and rural real property not otherwise specifically sub-classed - 30%
- Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment - 25%
- Mineral leaseholds: less than five barrels/100 MCF/Day - 25%
- Mineral leaseholds: more than five barrels/100 MCF/Day - 30%
- Motor vehicles - 30%
- All other personal property - 30%
- Agricultural buildings - 25%
- Watercraft - 11.5% (2014); 5% (2015 and thereafter)
Only pertinent types of property and their assessment rates have been presented here. The constitution also lists other types of property that may not be listed above.
Why did the County Appraiser only inspect the exterior of my property?
Unless there are unusual circumstances, all residential properties in Kansas are appraised by exterior inspection. The cost of interior inspections would be prohibitive to the taxpayers of Kansas. Also, the security and well-being of the county personnel and the privacy of the taxpayer are of importance. Finding a suitable time for both the taxpayer and the county to arrange for the inside inspection is an additional problem.
My neighbor's house is almost like mine. Why is my value higher than theirs?
Factors that could cause the difference are square footage, condition, etc. Also, your neighbor's property may be valued too low instead of your value being too high. The goal is to value all houses at the value they would sell for on the open market. Reappraisal is an ongoing process where both undervalued and overvalued properties are being adjusted to their market value.
What if the value of my property is too high?
The total appraised value is the key. Using the ORION mass appraisal system, the value of residential property is determined by an examination of sales of properties comparable to yours. If the appraised value reflects the fair market value of your property, then the appraised value is correct. You can find the comparable sales used to determine your value on the back of your Notice of Appraised Value (NOAV) and find the list of characteristics of your property under our real estate on our Web site.
The county re-measured my house and found the square footage to be less than previously measured. When the county corrected their records to show that my house is smaller than they thought, my value increased instead of decreased. Why?
This does not happen in most cases. When it does, it is possible the information of the new square footage may cause different properties to be drawn for comparability. It is also possible that other facts discovered during the inspection may have influenced the final value.
If I got a reduction in value for earlier years, why then was the value raised again in the current year?
You might have added some improvements. The county could have found an error in the value of earlier years. General changes in market conditions could cause an increase in value.
Will a protest be allowed if the taxes are "too high" but the value is acceptable and there is no mill levy challenge?
The county cannot refuse to accept a protest application. However, if BOTA receives a protest application and determines that it is without jurisdiction or that the taxpayer is raising a claim upon which no relief can be granted, it will be dismissed.
What is the State Board of Tax Appeals?
The State Board of Tax Appeals, known as BOTA, is the highest administrative body established by law to consider state and local tax issues. It is a totally separate entity from the local taxing jurisdiction. It acts as a disinterested third party between the taxpayer and the county.
Who is responsible for filing my tax protest with the Board of Tax Appeals?
You are responsible for filing your tax protest. See forms.
If I have an appeal with the Board of Tax Appeals for the current year, do the taxes have to be paid until the appeal is settled?
Yes, if you want to avoid penalties and interest on the delinquent amount.
How do I determine my tax bill?
Multiply the appraised value by the appropriate assessment rate (11.5% residential or 25% commercial) to determine the assessed value, and then multiply the assessed value by the total mill levy in your taxing jurisdiction.
- Appraised value x (assessment rate) = assessed value, or taxable value
- Assessed value x Mill levy / 1,000 = tax bill amount
- 17,250 x 129.307 / 1,000 = 2,230.55
- For a multiple class property repeat the steps above for each classification and add the outcomes together
How do I know if a county appraiser is in my area or at my home?
County appraisers are easily identified. Most appraisers drive county vehicles that are clearly marked Johnson County Appraiser’s Office on the sides. These vehicles are also marked on the back with the county web address (www.jocogov.org).
Sometimes appraisers must drive their personal vehicles. If an appraiser is driving their personal vehicle there will be a sign located on the dash of their car that should be visible through the windshield. This sign will read Johnson County Appraiser’s Office and lists our office phone number (913-715-9000), and our office website (jocogov.org/appraiser).
If there is an opportunity to speak with a county appraiser they can be asked to present their Appraiser’s Office badge. The badge will state Appraiser’s Office, and have the name and position of the appraiser. To obtain more information please call our customer service line 913-715-9000.